The Revealed & the Hidden: Reconceiving Western Civilization

By |2021-04-05T16:42:00-05:00April 5th, 2021|Categories: Culture, Western Civilization, Western Tradition|

What is most needed at this hour is a retrieval of the sources which shaped the Western imagination. Returning to our Christian, Greek, and Roman roots, and examining the texts and ideas which provided the foundation for the remarkable civilisation that spread across the European continent could bear real fruit in strengthening our ailing cultures. [...]

Learning Latin the Medieval Way

By |2021-01-02T11:52:09-06:00January 2nd, 2021|Categories: Classical Education, Culture, Education, Language, Timeless Essays, Western Tradition|

Latin, as the primary historical language of erudition and learning in the West, is the sole gateway into the halls of Western thought and humanistic learning. Without the use of this language, we can hardly know ourselves, and certainly not the road that brought us to the modern day. As the old year ends and [...]

Conservatism: Born Against Simplicity

By |2020-12-29T15:12:29-06:00December 27th, 2020|Categories: Bradley J. Birzer, Conservatism, Senior Contributors, Western Civilization, Western Tradition|

The philosophy and way of conservatism arose sometime in the 1880s or 1890s. This is not to suggest that conservative acts had not occurred previously in Western civilization. Indeed, some of the finest and most important moments in Western civilization occurred upon and with the act of conserving something good. From Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, and [...]

Counterpoint and Why It Matters

By |2020-11-30T15:36:07-06:00November 30th, 2020|Categories: Beauty, Culture, Modernity, Music, Roger Scruton, Timeless Essays, Western Tradition|

In music, there has arisen in recent times the illusion that knowledge is not necessary, that the old forms of discipline are merely obstacles to the true creative process, and that real originality means doing your own thing, free from traditional constraint. I recently acquired a CD of music for piano duo by Jeremy Menuhin, [...]

Why “Western Civ” Is Losing Its Appeal

By |2020-05-18T08:09:17-05:00May 17th, 2020|Categories: Books, Civilization, Classical Education, Culture, Education, Great Books, Liberal Arts, Literature, Modernity, Western Civilization, Western Tradition|

The Western canon as typically presented is increasingly unable to rally the enthusiasm even of devoted admirers of Western civilization, who recognize the commonly proffered canons as, at best, an impoverished rendition of Western culture and, at worst, a perpetuation of the very same cultural forces that are at the source of its decay. The [...]

A Childish Fear of Western Civilization

By |2020-04-26T12:00:25-05:00April 26th, 2020|Categories: Classical Education, Culture, Education, Humanities, Western Civilization, Western Tradition|

The dissolution of Western Civilization has left a vacuum in the college curriculum. Western Civ was once used to tie other disciplines together, to supply a forum for discussion of the Big Questions, and to provide students with a sense of purpose. By joining that great debate, students become part of an ongoing conversation about [...]

The Three Conservative Burkes: Hayek, Strauss, and Kirk

By |2020-03-05T10:18:27-06:00March 5th, 2020|Categories: Bradley J. Birzer, Conservatism, Edmund Burke, Leo Strauss, Politics, Russell Kirk, Senior Contributors, Western Civilization, Western Tradition|

Edmund Burke was the nexus among the classical, medieval, and modern worlds, and the best answer to contemporary ideology. It is worth considering the Burke of Friedrich Hayek, Leo Strauss, and Russell Kirk in order to fully understand his importance to the rise of conservatism in academia after World War II. The somewhat radical (relatively [...]

Liberal Education at the Naval Academy

By |2020-02-28T16:25:44-06:00February 28th, 2020|Categories: Classical Education, Culture, Education, Liberal Arts, Western Civilization, Western Tradition|

The Naval Academy is regarded as one of the top liberal arts colleges in the nation, and many attend for that very reason. But what if the Academy’s curriculum does not reflect a true liberal arts education, but a radical distortion of it—a falsehood? The hour is here when midshipmen candidates of the Class of [...]

The Hounds in Full Cry: Roger Scruton’s Conservatism

By |2020-02-17T16:49:05-06:00February 17th, 2020|Categories: Bradley J. Birzer, Conservatism, Government, Politics, Roger Scruton, Senior Contributors, Western Tradition|

In almost every way, Sir Roger Scruton was a thorn in the side of modernity and post-modernity. With Burke, he fought a “forlorn but dignified resistance to the tides of history.” He sought a future in which the national loyalty would endure, holding things together, providing all of us with sources of hope. No one [...]

Of What Value Is a Dead Language?

By |2020-01-09T14:58:16-06:00January 8th, 2020|Categories: Books, Culture, Education, Michael De Sapio, Senior Contributors, Western Civilization, Western Tradition|

The prestige of studying classical languages like Latin and Greek is greatly eroded today. This is no mystery; but how did we get to this point? Linguist Nicholas Ostler, in his book Ad Infinitum: A Biography of Latin, chronicles how Latin remained the one constant during the growth of Western culture. The claims he makes [...]

Return of the Small Gods?

By |2019-11-16T21:29:54-06:00November 16th, 2019|Categories: Books, Civil Society, Conservatism, Dwight Longenecker, Relativism, Senior Contributors, Western Civilization, Western Tradition|

Rusty Reno’s recent book, Return of the Strong Gods is an excellent explanation of the roots of relativism. The short version is that two world wars left Western civilization with a huge societal case of post-traumatic stress disorder. With heads in hands, the thinkers concluded that we kill one another because of dogma. We say, [...]

The Permanence of Russell Kirk

By |2019-10-14T12:29:01-05:00October 7th, 2019|Categories: Bradley J. Birzer, Christian Humanism, Conservatism, Russell Kirk, Senior Contributors, The Conservative Mind, Western Civilization, Western Tradition|

With the phenomenal success of The Conservative Mind—selling over a million copies during the three decades after its initial release—Kirk worried that “conservatism” might prove to be a hollow answer for the post-war world. Afterall, he reasoned, conservatism must, by necessity, be highly subjective, centered around a specific time and place, even while embracing universals. [...]

Russell Kirk Reconsidered

By |2020-10-18T08:56:21-05:00October 4th, 2019|Categories: Bradley J. Birzer, Conservatism, Russell Kirk, Senior Contributors, The Conservative Mind, Western Civilization, Western Tradition|

Russell Kirk gave voice to a myriad of persons, personalities, and ideas circulating in the decade after the Second World War, just as the West was trying to understand what it stood for, rather than what it stood against. The latter was easy. Communism and fascism were evil. But, what exactly did the West stand for? [...]

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